April 8, 2009 – At the only press conference at this week’s Storage Networking World confab, Brocade tossed its hat into the FCoE ring with the announcement of a switch and converged network adapters (CNAs). See “Brocade launches FCoE switch, adapters.”
That announcement seemingly officially kicked off the FCoE battles between Cisco and Brocade on the switch front, and Emulex, QLogic and Brocade on the CNA front. (As storage bigots, we’re ignoring the traditional NIC and switch vendors which may, or may not, eventually be contenders in the FCoE ring.)
Brocade’s CNA announcement came on the heels of similar announcements from Emulex and QLogic:
“QLogic delivers single-chip CNAs”
“Emulex CNAs support 10GbE, iSCSI, FCoE”
Upon each announcement, competitors offered their services in bad-mouthing their rivals. Since most of the claims and counterclaims are at this point are impossible to verify, we chose a Joe Friday approach to reporting the announcements – “Just the facts, ma’am.”
The FCoE battles may have begun in the OEM qualification arena (raising the question of how many CNAs or switches the big server/storage vendors will qualify/resell), but the real battles won’t begin until end-user adoption of FCoE begins. At yesterday’s press conference, Brocade CTO Dave Stevens predicted that we won’t see end-user adoption of FCoE in any volume until late 2010 (about the same time that 16Gbps Fibre Channel products are supposed to appear). And that might be optimistic.